By Paul Gable
David Wren of the Sun News reported last evening that the Chambergate investigation into 2009 political donations, by a host of local LLC’s that had no income, was continuing.
The article stated an investigator with the IRS had confirmed the investigation was ongoing into political donations by these LLC’s whose principals have ties to the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to Wren’s article, the investigator contacted the Sun News last week requesting documents the paper had obtained regarding the political donations.
This report confirms rumblings we have been hearing for some months now that the investigation was continuing and indictments from a federal grand jury would be coming down in the case.
The investigation began in early 2010 and we have been told by several attorneys experienced with federal public corruption cases that 4 ½ – 5 years is not an unusual investigative time frame. If something breaks in late September, it would actually be ahead of schedule.
One interesting, if cryptic, message we received last week said to ‘spread our nets’ in late September to get ready ‘for a catch.’
A total of $324,500 in political donations was given to state and local level politicians by these 14 LLC’s in 2009. It has never been established how LLC’s that were nothing more than books on a shelf with no business office, no employees and no income could make such hefty contributions.
Several recent indictments in mortgage fraud cases, related to Grand Strand business dealings, tended to suggest that at least one of the target people being investigated in Chambergate was cooperating with federal investigators.
A September 30th break in the case would fall right in the middle of the Myrtle Beach city election campaigns. Three of the four incumbents up for re-election, mayor John Rhodes and council members Wayne Gray and Randal Wallace, were substantial beneficiaries of the 2009 political donations being investigated.
However, we have heard that none of the local level politicians was a target of the investigation.
We’ll wait to see what the end of next month brings, if anything.
Link to Wren’s article: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2013/08/26/3670512/criminal-investigation-continues.html